Walking St John’s with Tom Welsh

St John's Walk

FROM LAVAUX’S MAP OF CHESTER, 1745

A large group of us perambulated St John’s with Tom Welsh, and highly informative it was. Here are just a few of the nuggets we learnt for those of you unfortunate enough not to have attended.
Did you know that Vicar’s Lane was once a much narrower thoroughfare and St John’s Churchyard extended around the church reaching into the now amphitheatre and Grosvenor Park.
Did you know that this area was once highly fashionable with its view over the River Dee.
Did you know that the Cholmondeleys acquired land and property east of the church after the Reformation. They eventually sold it to the Grosvenor family in the mid-1800s.
Did you know that a Mr. Orange had a house built onto the porch of the church.
Did you know that Thomas De Quincey’s mother lived in a large house built into the ruins of the east end of the church.
Did you know that just before Dee House became a convent school in 1845 it was occupied by a fervent anti- Catholic.
Did you know that the Old Bishop’s Palace was built for Bishop Peploe in 1745, and this eventually became the YMCA. It is now renovated externally.
Did you know that the Anchorite’s Cell was first converted to a house to accommodate the butler of a Thomas Lee. His mansion is marked on the Lavaux map near to the river.
Thanks to Tom for these insights and many many more.
Account of walk written by Karen McKay